Friday, April 24, 2009

Chief Devil’s Advocate

A new position needed in businesses is the Chief Devil’s Advocate or CDA. This individual's sole responsibility is to poke holes in every important pending business decision. The CDA is responsilbe for testing the original ideas behind the decision to determine viability and concordance with overall business goals.

For example, XYZ Corp is interested in buying out ABC Inc. The accountants and lawyers all perform their duties and present their findings. Other industry analysts and experts chime in too. All this data is provided to the CDA so she can identify all the reasons why XYZ should NOT buy ABC.

The CDA is the company's leading skeptic. While this position may not be able to over rule an imperial CEO surrounded by Yes Men, at least someone will be arguing against boneheaded choices.

Perhaps if the position of CDA existed 2 years ago we wouldn't be in the financial mess we are in now.

Additional reading: The Economist - Managerial Blunders

If you want to outsource your CDA position, contact me! I'm always happy to rain on a parade.


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